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Would MSNBC Actually Fire Joy Reid?

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​​Would MSNBC actually fire Joy Reid, the racist and homophobic host of the 7 pm hour?

According to Jon Nicosia, a former editor at Mediaite, that’s the plan. Nicosia reported on January 6 — oh, the irony — that a Comcast source told him that MSNBC has decided it will take Reid’s primetime show away from her by mid-spring:

The news then trended online Thursday, trailing only words like terrorists, insurrectionist, white, and Ted Cruz. MSNBC later called the report “bogus.”

So what’s going on here?

First, MSNBC publicly denying that it plans to demote or fire a sitting host means little. A network would not confirm a move months out, especially since, if it had said nothing, the media industry would interpret a “no comment” as confirmation anyway.

So, MSNBC’s denial doesn’t mean anything. Networks lie. They hire PR reps for that sole purpose. However, that doesn’t mean MSNBC will go through with firing Reid. I am skeptical it will.

There’s little question that some MSNBC producers and executives are fed up with Reid. She’s toxic and treats those around her poorly. She also regularly embarrasses the network. Even MSNBC has some shame.

Reid has exposed herself as grossly uninformed about topics she discusses. For example, she tried to connect Gov. Ron DeSantis to a horrific child sex trafficking network last April, even though she didn’t have any evidence to support her claim. Then, there was this piece of brilliance:

If certain people behind the scenes had their choice, they likely would fire Reid. But the situation is more complicated than that.

Decision-making in television is rather simple. A network weighs talents’ upside and downside, then often settles for the safer route. That’s why so many original thinkers now host independent podcasts.

Reid’s show, called ReidIn or something, loses badly to Fox News and CNN head-to-head in the 25-54 demographic. She’s not a ratings hit, and she has a lot of baggage, an often calamitous combination for would-be network hosts.

Yet MSNBC does not have a replacement who would guarantee a viewership upgrade. Daily viewership averages suggest that MSNBC’s list of potential replacements wouldn’t increase or decrease Reid’s average, but hold flat. MSNBC has failed to recruit a bench that liberals over 65, the network’s core audience, would watch.

On one hand, MSNBC could, say, put Mehdi Hasan at 7 pm instead. He would draw similar ratings on a cheaper contract with less baggage. Most networks would probably choose that option.

Probably not MSNBC though. Why? Because Reid holds the decision-makers there hostage. Metaphorically speaking, we think.

If MSNBC fired Joy Reid, she would undoubtedly call the network racist — and she would keep doing so until someone powerful enough listened. Then other Big Media outlets — the New York Times, Slate, Media Matters, CNN, The Atlantic, Meadowlark Media, Jemele Hill’s Twitter account — would further repeat that narrative.

MSNBC might even find itself with a lawsuit on its hands. Something about a toxic work environment and racist hiring practices. Sounds familiar, right? This strategy is as tiresome as it is predictable.

It’s also effective. Or at least it has been.

MSNBC is not a network willing to endure the publicity storm that would result from accusations of racism. MSNBC knows that firing a black woman would be the story, no matter how justified the cause or how racially-diverse the person it hired as a replacement.

The network is essentially in a no-win situation. If MSNBC replaced Reid with a black woman, Reid and her ilk would claim MSNBC sees all black women the same, that it can just replace one black woman with another. However, if the network replaced Reid with anyone other than a black woman, The View and other shows like it would run specials about MSNBC’s systemic racism and sexism. No matter what, the vultures are coming.

A network cannot fire a black woman without taking a hit or two of its own. (Unless that woman is Sage Steele or Candace Owens, of course.) The boomerang always comes back. That’s the current power dynamic of the industry, and it extends beyond MSNBC to its parent company, Comcast. 

So in the end, none of the usual factors will have any bearing on Joy Reid’s fate at MSNBC. Joy Reid has made herself nearly bulletproof by being who she accuses her opponents of being: a racist, privileged, politicking elite who would never succeed based on her own merits. And the cowardly executives at MSNBC just shut up and take it.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.

13 Comments

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  1. The media is so funny (if that is the word). Without outkick writing articles about her, I would have never known that Joe Reid existed. In trying to shine a light on the horrible person she is, all you do is give her more exposure.

    All of these stories Outkick has been writing about from these one off tweets from a no name person. Clay always says you can find anything on the internet to justify your perception of the world.
    We need more fun/funny/feel good stories in 2022. I don’t want to be riled up or mad every time I read an outkick article. There are plenty of other places I can go to and feel that.
    Big news events, sure. But what some random one off person tweeted about this or that, who cares.
    More TNML and less clicks for outrage.

    Bobby this is not a total reflection on you or this column, but this is how a long time VIP feels about how this site has changed over the last few months.

  2. The truth is if it weren’t for conservative news sites talking about MSNBC and CNN, nobody would know who they were. I don’t care if they fire her or not because I don’t watch the skank and I kind of wish we’d stop talking about her.

  3. This complete bullshit. MSNBC is not going to fire Joy Reid. Bobby just made that shit up to give AWM fragile males something to read on an Alt Right Website. This story is COMPLETELY MADE UP. Even Jon Nicosia lacks creditability. Cmon Elmer Fudd…..You are getting SUPER DESPERATE because MSNBC is not going to fire one of their most popular host. Bobby is FLAT OUT lying to you people. This reminds me of the time Clay tried to say Colin Kaepernick gave the Daily Caller comments as if Kap or any thinking person would EVER go talk to Tucker Carlson and the Daily Caller……

    Lmbao at Conservatives on a daily basis
    GTFOH

  4. Joy Reid would be a disgusting human being regardless of her race, color, creed, or religion. The poster girl for Why Affirmative Action was never a good idea.
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    That said I sort of agree with GHigg about OUTKICK becoming too predictable … not as predictable as “Mr.BDLies” rants for sure but predictable. Not sure what a balance is between sports crap and political/media crap. 24/7 of SophieBevarley and Hildee would get boring after awhile too. … Keeping any site “interesting” is a challenge that requires a watchful eye …maybe Clay has too many irons in his fire. Who is #2 at OUTKICK HQ?
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    This is the only website in this “niche” category that I visit … and I don’t plan to go away … but even ElRushbo was always monitoring EIB to avoid getting into bad habits. … ONWARD!.
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  5. Just remember…the left talks incessantly about conservatives, Republicans, White people, and any other group that they hate. If Outkick starts reporting only feel good stories (which are becoming less and less anymore) the country will be inundated with left wing talking points over and over. You have to fight back against these assholes, even by bringing to light the absurdities of shithead racists like Reid and far left policies.

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